Based in United States
September 29, 2016 (PC/Mobile)
September 19, 2017 (PS4/Vita)
Burly Men at Sea is a folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.
Set in the waters of early 20th-century Scandinavia, the game's story branches through a series of encounters with creatures from folklore. The player acts as storyteller and wayfinder, shaping the narrative around three ungainly heroes as they set sail for the unknown.
Burly Men at Sea is the second game from husband-and-wife team Brain&Brain, developed during their own adventures as nomads and erstwhile farmhands.
Pre-production began in the months following the release of Brain&Brain’s first game in 2014, with Brooke initially working solo. David left his job at Pixar in the fall to join full-time, and soon after, the project moved into development.
In October 2015, Brain&Brain set out as nomads, briefly working as part-time farmhands to support the game's development. After receiving backing by Indie Fund, they returned to full-time development while continuing to travel for a total of eighteen months. The game was completed on the road.
Burly Men at Sea was first released for PC and mobile in September 2016, followed by PS4/Vita one year later.
- Branching story for multiple choice-driven adventures, each designed to be completed in a single sitting.
- Innovative controls, with a narrative shaped by interaction and discovery, paired with a unique draggable viewport mechanic.
- Colorful aesthetic with handcrafted animation, set to a whimsical original soundtrack inspired by the game’s Scandinavian setting.
Logo & Icon
Awards & Recognition
- "Best Indie Game Honorable Mention" - TapTap Game Awards, China (2017)
- "Bit Bash Showcase Selection" - Bit Bash (2017)
- "SAAM Arcade Selection" - Smithsonian American Art Museum (2017)
- "The 10 Best Games at E3 2017" - Paste (2017)
- "IndieCade Showcase @ E3 Selection" - E3 (2017)
- "Intl. Competition of Independent Computer Games Nominee" - Anifilm, Czech Republic (2017)
- "Now Play This Exhibition Selection" - Now Play This, London (2017)
- "Excellence in Narrative Honorable Mention" - IGF (2017)
- "Mild Rumpus Selection" - GDC (2017)
- "Top 10 Art Direction of 2016" - Paste (2016)
- "Best Story Game of 2016" - Rock, Paper, Shotgun (2016)
- "Top 10 Video Games of 2016" - TIME (2016)
- "10 Most Beautiful Video Games of 2016" - TIME (2016)
- "Best 50 Apps of the Year" - TIME (2016)
- "Best 2D Visuals Nominee" - Unity Awards (2016)
- "Game Shack Pisa Showcase Selection" - Internet Festival, Pisa (2016)
- "New Games We Love" - Apple (2016)
- "Games and Playful Media Exhibition Selection" - A MAZE. / Johannesburg (2016)
- "Indie MEGABOOTH Selection" - PAX West (2016)
- "Best Adventure Game/RPG Finalist" - Intel Level Up (2016)
- "Game Happens! Showcase Selection" - Game Happens!, Milan (2016)
- "Indie MEGABOOTH Selection" - PAX East (2016)
- "Top 10 of EGX Rezzed" - Red Bull (2016)
- "Top 12 of EGX Rezzed" - The Guardian (2016)
- "Leftfield Collection Selection" - EGX Rezzed, London (2016)
- "Gamer's Voice Single Player Award Nominee" - SXSW (2016)
- "Made with Unity Showcase Selection" - GDC (2016)
- "The MIX 5th Anniversary Showcase Selection" - GDC (2016)
- "The MIX + Patreon Developer Showcase Selection" - GDC (2016)
- "Day of the Devs Selection" - San Francisco (2015)
- "IndieXChange Gametasting Selection" - IndieCade (2015)
- "Indie MEGABOOTH Selection" - PAX Prime (2015)
- "The MIX Showcase" - SIGGRAPH (2015)
- "It’s whimsical and charming; a real breath of fresh air."
– Paste Magazine
- "We're totally charmed by this eclectic adventure."
– App Store Editor's Notes
- "It’s a tiny-but-then-not-tiny, lovely thing with so much character and a wonderful sense of adventure."
– Rock, Paper, Shotgun
- "…Artful interplay of visual minimalism, waggish writing and hilarious but also haunting sound effects generated by gorgeous a cappella voices. 5/5"
- "Burly Men at Sea demands to be played. 9/10"
– Pocket Gamer
- "Underneath its unabashedly indie exterior, Burly Men at Sea is a modern, minimalist folktale that does almost everything right."
– Adventure Gamers
- "You had me at "large, bearded fishermen", Burly Men at Sea, then you reeled me in with your talk of a branching narrative, and your lovely art."
– PC Gamer
– The Guardian
- "Burly Men at Sea is as charming as it is beautiful."
- "A freaking delight…This game was thoroughly charming and beautifully animated."
- "The most pleasant surprise for me from the entire convention…The simplistic controls along with crisp art style and luscious soundtrack help lend to a story that I'm ready to get lost in!"
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Brain&Brain is game dev duo David and Brooke Condolora. Most recently, they developed folktale adventure Burly Men at Sea during their own adventures as nomads and erstwhile farmhands. They’re now based in an old mill in the Ozarks with their indomitable cairn terrier, Oliver Doggins, who inspired their first game and accompanies them on all dog-friendly escapades.
More information on Brain&Brain, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Burly Men at Sea Credits
Story, Art & Animation, Design
Programming, Additional Design
Music, Sound Design
Mieko Fukushima (Kakehashi Games)